Bella Donna (album)

Bella Donna (album)

Infobox Album
Name = Bella Donna
Type = Album
Artist = Stevie Nicks

Released = July 27, 1981
Recorded = 19801981
Genre = Rock
Length = 41:57
Label = Modern Records
Producer = Jimmy Iovine and Tom Petty
Reviews =
* Allmusic Rating|4.5|5 [ link]
*"Rolling Stone" Rating|3|5 [ link]
Last album =
This album = "Bella Donna" (1981)
Next album = "The Wild Heart" (1983)
Color = orange

"Bella Donna" is the debut solo album by American singer/songwriter and Fleetwood Mac vocalist Stevie Nicks. Released in July 1981, the album hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard charts in September of that year, remaining there for one week. "Bella Donna" was awarded Platinum status by the RIAA three months after its release on October 7, 1981, and has sold over 4 million copies in the U.S. by 2004. Worldwide, it remains her best-selling solo album to date.

The album spawned four substantial hit singles during 1981 and 1982: the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers-penned duet "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (#3), the Don Henley duet "Leather and Lace" (#6), the iconic "Edge of Seventeen" (#11), and country-tinged "After the Glitter Fades" (#32).

"Bella Donna" would mark the beginning of Nicks' trend of calling upon her many musician friends and connections to fully realize her sparse demo recordings. Along with friends Tom Petty and Don Henley, Nicks brought in famed session musician Waddy Wachtel, Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band pianist Roy Bittan, and Muscle Shoals session man Donald "Duck" Dunn of Booker T. & the MGs. Though "Bella Donna"'s personnel list includes some 20 musicians, the album is very much Nicks' own work, with all but one of the songs on the record written by her.

The album also marked the first recording featuring Nicks' back up vocalists and friends, Sharon Celani and Lori Perry, who still record and tour with Nicks today.


Nicks began work on "Bella Donna" in 1979, in between sessions for her third album as part of Fleetwood Mac, "Tusk", released in October that year. The initial recordings for the album were in demo form, with Nicks accompanying herself on piano or electric piano for songs that were initially planned for inclusion but later shelved, such as "Lady from the Mountain," "Castaway," "Gypsy" (later resurrected for Fleetwood Mac's "Mirage" in 1982), and "I Sing for the Things" (later re-recorded for 1985's solo album "Rock a Little").

Further demos were recorded during Fleetwood Mac's extensive ten-month world tour of 1979–80 including a notable April 1980 session with Tom Petty that ultimately went unused; following the tour's end in September 1980, work with a full band of other musicians commenced. Among the earliest songs recorded during the autumn 1980 sessions were "Blue Lamp," "Outside the Rain," and "How Still My Love."Numerous sessions and multiple takes ensued, including various re-recordings, well into the spring of 1981, when the final songs for the album, "Edge of Seventeen" and "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," were completed. A trove of finished material for the album, with the same band of musicians, was not included on the official ten-song 42-minute album release in the summer of 1981 – "Blue Lamp," which was released instead on the "Heavy Metal" soundtrack later in 1981, "Gold and Braid," performed live in concert during Nicks' 1981 concert tour, and "Sleeping Angel," released on the "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" soundtrack in 1982. These three songs feature on her Enchanted boxed set. "Julia" and "If You Were My Love" remain unreleased completed takes.

Nicks recorded several solo piano demos for the album that were not recorded with the full band personnel, such as "China Doll," "Christian (Spinning Wheels)," and "Stay Away," and other songs were attempted but not completed with the full band, such as "Bell Flower" and "Sanctuary." Nicks attempted some of the unreleased songs for future albums but a wealth of material from the "Bella Donna" era remains unreleased.

Video footage of the album sessions can be found on the DVD portion of Nicks' 2007 retrospective release "Crystal Visions".

Track listing

All songs written by Stevie Nicks, except where noted.
#"Bella Donna" – 5:18
#"Kind of Woman" (Nicks, Benmont Tench) – 3:08
#"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (Tom Petty, Mike Campbell) – 4:02
#* Performed by Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty"
#"Think About It" (Nicks, Roy Bittan) – 3:33
#"After the Glitter Fades" – 3:27
#"Edge of Seventeen" – 5:28
#"How Still My Love" – 3:51
#"Leather and Lace" – 3:55
#* Performed by Stevie Nicks & Don Henley
#"Outside the Rain" – 4:17
#"The Highwayman" – 4:49


"'Main Performers
* Stevie Nicksvocals
* Lori Perry – backup vocals
* Sharon Celani – backup vocals

Guest Musicians
*Tom Petty – vocals, guitar
*Michael Campbell – guitar
*Benmont Tenchorgan, piano
*Stan Lynch – drums
*Don Henley – vocals, drums, backup vocals
*Don Felderguitar

Session Musicians
*Waddy Wachtel – guitar
*Davey Johnstone – acoustic guitar
*Bob Glaubbass guitar
*Duck Dunn – bass guitar
*Tom Moncrieff – bass guitar
*Richard Bowden – bass guitar
*Dan Dugmorepedal steel guitar
*Bill Elliott – piano
*Russ Kunkel – drums
*Bobbye Hallpercussion
*Phil Jones – percussion
*Roy Bittan – piano
*Billy Payne – piano
*David Adelsteinsynthesizer


*Producer: Jimmy Iovine, Producer
*Producer: Tom Petty, Producer
*Engineer: Shelly Yakus, Engineer




External links

* [ The Official Stevie Nicks web site]
* [ AMG Entry for Stevie Nicks]

succession box
before = "4" by Foreigner
title = "Billboard" 200 number-one album
years = September 5 - September 11 1981
after = "Escape" by Journey
succession box
before = "Hitwave '81" by Various artists
title = Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
years = September 21 - September 27 1981
after = "Tattoo You" by The Rolling Stones

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